This year has illustrated that as a business – be that a salon, an educator, an independent – you need to be agile, able to respond to any challenge. Those who are limber – quick to rethink their strategy while remaining proactive – will continue to shine bright and succeed.
The Outliers is about showcasing and celebrating those artists and business owners who have been nimble, have future-proofed their businesses to ensure they continue to grow and flourish tomorrow and beyond. They have pivoted to other platforms when necessary to keep communicating with their clients, to keep getting Redken favourites into their hands, to keep them loyal to professional colour.
You’ll meet salon stars who have faced the same unforeseen obstacles as many of you, and have reacted by thinking smartly, acting differently, and keeping the conversation alive! These salons, educators and artists are all proudly part of the Redken Tribe – perhaps they have a few ideas to inspire you too…
From makeovers to mega salons, these innovators are starting on new adventures. That means nailing the concept and the interiors to keep clients coming back, and tempting new ones through the door. Oh, and it’s got to look great on social too! Let these four innovators tell you how they’re doing things differently.
Photography by Nick Freeman Photography and Jerry Wesley
Moko, Market Harborough (@mokosalonspa)
THE RADICAL REFIT
Few salon owners will have been bold enough this year to give their premises a major refit and introduce brand new colour and product brands. But Moko’s Anthony Young had good reason to make 2020 a year of change. “We’ve always done well in our market town,” he says, “hitting all the benchmarks. But I got the sense that we were getting too comfortable. Our client demographic was getting narrower and our passion and motivation were being lost.”
Throughout lockdown the 20-year-old salon was transformed. It ditched its previous neutral interior and emerged resplendent in July as a five-storey visual and sensual smorgasbord of unique spaces, each decorated in their own distinct style. From classic rose gold and marble to Japanese-inspired Zen and graffiti-daubed urban grit, there’s a look and feel to suit every client. And of course it’s all hugely Instagrammable… you’ll even find a room dedicated to Redken!
“I had so many ideas, and I wanted to use all of them!” laughs Anthony. “I wasn’t sure how to proceed but completing the Salon Emotion course from L’Oréal Professional Products Division gave me some useful pointers and also the confidence to press ahead with my plans.”
Anthony’s desire to expand into a wider audience was a key reason he decided to change to Redken. “I wanted to attract a more socially-savvy client and the best way to do that was by working with the most socially-savvy brand in the industry,” he says simply.
Photography by Heather Yates
Mesart, Glasgow (@mesarthair)
SUPER SIZED, SUPER SERVICE
Glasgow’s first ‘super salon’ was only launched a matter of months ago, but it has already been making waves not just in the city, but also the industry at large. The second location in the Mesart portfolio has been shortlisted for Best New Salon at the 2020 Most Wanted Awards, a nomination that has meant a lot to founder Stuart Whitelaw (pictured left) and the team.
“It feels incredible to have been nominated for Best New Salon this year, it’s really exciting and has given a boost to everyone involved,” says Stuart. “Redken has been amazing helping every step of the way and ensuring every client journey is the best it can be.”
The team’s determination was brought sharply into focus while salons were closed, as the Mesart gang pulled together and used the opportunity to learn through Redken courses on the L’Oréal Access digital learning platform. Following Redken on social media also gave the team a healthy dose of inspiration that helped to up their game. “A lot of them were looking at Redken ambassadors who were posting techniques on social media and engaging really well. Redken has done a lot with IGTV, which was really popular with my team.”
When it was time to re-open, Stuart was blessed with a spacious salon that meant his team could hit the ground running. “We have an ample amount of space, and it allowed us to come back and open our entire service menu to our clients without restricting anything. Redken colour is intrinsic to these services, and has cemented client loyalty at Mesart.” And when it comes to retail, Stuart says that recent times have been like a continuous Christmas. “When we opened back up our retail increased tenfold – it was just flying and it still is!”
Photography by Harvey Williams-Fairley
Percy at Percy&Reed (@percyandreedsalon)
A PRIVATE MEMBERS CLUB VIBE
It’s the details that count at the newly reincarnated Percy at Percy & Reed, and these tell a story about owner Paul Percival. The stylist has taken his two decade-long career styling hair on tour and backstage for music artists as well as styling the label execs, and very much made it his thing at the revamped salon, knowing that experience and those contacts are part of his cache. “I need to own that space, that’s very much my USP,” he says.
The remodelled interiors are the result of a lockdown bonding session with his carpenter dad. Paul was also a carpenter apprentice back in the day, so he got to dust off some old skills too. It’s a real labour of love. “I needed to use the opportunity to change up the salon. It was a massive gamble because we didn’t know how long we were going to be in lockdown, and trying to get supplies was a nightmare,” he recalls. “But there’s something really nice about the fact that when I look around now, I know that it was us. When I go into the salon, I’m so proud of it all.”
And so he should be, as it’s truly a representation of himself – the vintage record player and LPs (you can choose the soundtrack), the inky blue velvet sofa, even the metal shelving units straight from the ’70s are relics scavenged from Sony Music’s offices. The vibe is very much laid-back members club with Percy at the helm, and you have an exclusive invitation.
Paul adds: “I needed a new start, and I wanted to do it with Redken. We were so excited about using Shades EQ. All the products work – that’s what I love most.”
Halo, Patcham (@halo_hair_and_beauty_brighton)
SELFIES IN THE BEST POSSIBLE LIGHT
In January, Natalie Mears walked into a salon in the heart of Patcham near Brighton with a dream. But the space was dark, and very purple.
“I’m at an age now where I thought if I don’t do it now, when will I?” she explains of her decision to open her own salon, Halo Hair & Beauty. “I knew I had more to offer than just working in someone else’s salon.”
Indeed, her vision was of a space that was warm, inviting, and offered myriad services to the community. And from the beginning, it had to be Redken. “It’s where my heart lies, I have Redken in my veins,” she says. “People come from far and wide for Redken colour.”
She was all set to make her dream come true when the world went into lockdown. “It was like having a birthday taken away from you, I had been so excited,” she recalls. But when lockdown lifted, she was ready – and with the help of plenty of friends, they turned the salon around in just three days. “We roped in everyone!”
Those dark purple walls are long gone. Now there’s plenty of blush (or is that Shades EQ pink?), white and grey in the interiors and a gigantic pink bow on the door, a sign of the treats you’ll find inside. But the biggest talking point, and social media draw, aside from that Shades EQ and Color Gels Lacquers shine, are the enormous Hollywood-style mirrors that fill a wall, and can be seen from down the street. It’s an ideal illumination for the team’s work and for the clients’ perfect selfies. “It just gives the most lovely light. I’ve had ladies book in for a blow-dry just to get a selfie in front of it before a night out,” she laughs.